Insta-Rec

Oct. 22nd, 2017 09:49 am
monanotlisa: (rock - vm)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Movement and Stillness (1761 words) by lilacsigil

Fandom: Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq/Seivarden Vendaai
Characters: Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq, Seivarden Vendaai
Additional Tags: Unrequited Love, Drug Use
Summary:

Seivarden feels like she is still in stasis while Breq rushes onward, but there are two sides to every coin.



[personal profile] lilacsigil gives utterly great Imperial Radch.
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
[personal profile] trobadora
Woohoo! [community profile] femslashex reveals have happened. And I wrote Missy! Of course I did. (I'm really having a lot of fun with Missy at the moment, even if most of it is still in WIP form.) Anyway, here's the story I wrote:

Title: Finding Forward
Pairing: Thirteenth Doctor/Missy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "Forging blindly ahead is a well-honed strategy of mine," the Doctor admitted wryly. "I can do that any day. Now, forward? That's proven a bit more difficult, you see."
A/N: Many thanks to [personal profile] fluffyllama for being there for me at the last moment. ♥

Originally posted here at AO3.

Finding Forward )

Gospel

Oct. 16th, 2017 05:35 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Gospel Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Let me begin with the obligatory statement (seriously, check the other reviews) that Dan Brown wakes at night and cries into his pillow because nothing he's written has come even close to being as good as Gospel.

The novel takes place in the 80s and concerns an aging, male academic and a young, floundering, female grad student on the search for The Gospel of Matthias; the modern day search is interspersed with chapters of the gospel they're trying to find and translate. I read this for the first time as a grad student (somewhere between 2001-2003), and it blew me away. I was studying to convert to Catholicsm at the time, and I'd been reading a lot of Elaine Pagels (gnostic gospels) and hagiographies of saints and the history of Christianity and medieval mystics, and this book was just fascinating. It's heavily footnoted (and while the narrative is fictional as well as the gospel itself, the footnoted information is factual according to the author as is all the currents events stuff happening in the novel and much of the theological conversation the characters have). This was the first time I heard of the cult of Mithra or of Catherine of Siena wearing Jesus's foreskin as a magical wedding ring (naturally, it was invisible to everyone but Catherine).

On re-read, my love for this book is only slightly diminished. The Gospel of Matthias is both hilarious (unintentionally so because Matthias does not get what's happening around him half the time; he's constantly misinterpreting events) and ultimately moving because it's the quest of a man who'd been a minor disciple, only in the presence of Jesus a few time and mostly chosen because he's rich and can bankroll the ministry, to recover his lost faith.

Most of the book is the characters having theological arguments, telling theological dirty jokes, and cataloging all the bizarre anecdata of the Catholic Church. Those parts are still fun.

I like that the book turns the usual narrative about an aging male academic and his female grad student groupie on its head. Dr. O'Hanrahan is full of man pain; he's a womanizer and a drinker, and he lost his wife and kid in tragic accidents, and he's angry and disappointed that he never wrote that bestseller or made a huge mark on the academy despite all his promise--and the whole point of the book is that all his existential angst and nearly all of his problems are of his own making and he's reaping the consequences of his choices. Also, he and Lucy never have a romantic relationship (although the book seems to be going there a couple times, and I started to get nervous on this re-read because I couldn't remember that trajectory).

God gets a voice in this book; he speaks in parentheticals which are amusing and beautiful and full of mercy for his creation. I really like that authorial choice.

Having grown up in the community, I appreciate the depiction of Evangelical Christianity in all its tacky glory at the end of the novel. Considering the times we currently live in, that depiction seems eerily prescient.

I have some issues with the way that Lucy is presented: concerned about her weight and her virginity and etc. I also have some issues with the way race is handled at times. On the whole, I think this book does a good job of presenting multiple points of view about religion, however.

Definitely recommend this book, but it's a time investment at over 700 pages (with lots of eensy footnotes).



View all my reviews

Treasured

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:14 pm
monanotlisa: Lucca Quinn, centered, looking thoughtful (lucca - the good fight)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
If you're so inclined, you can read my Dear Yuletide Author Letter now.
lunabee34: (sga: lorne closeup by scifijunkie)
[personal profile] lunabee34
I'm about to have an evening to myself. Josh is taking Emma to Atlanta to watch Markiplier (I have no idea what a live show by a guy who does Let's Plays on Youtube would even look like, but fortunately, I don't have to go!), and I will have this whole evening to devote to conversation.

Ask me a question. Tell me something. *bats eyelashes*

I'll get back to you around 7:30 tonight.

Also, does anybody know how to get your own posts to show up in your friends list on DW? My LJ was set up that way, and I really liked it because I often used my latest post as the marker to start with when I began reading my flist. Any help would be appreciated.
monanotlisa: (richter abstract - duh)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
But since we do, I can't forget the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

[personal profile] rydra_wong has a recommendable entry with information on what the NYT calls a classic ''ethnic cleansing'' titled "Nie Wieder", which means "Never Again" in English and is one of the most famous anti-fascist, anti-war, anti-genocide German slogans; take your pick. Its origins are unclear; Willy Brandt, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974 is quoted most often; but then there's also Wilhelm Pieck, a German communist and the first -- also last -- President of the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany.

If you want something that's not glossy photos of people suffering, here are, again courtesy of the NYT, satellite images of the burnt villages as well as their locations on a map of Rakhine state.

Biography of Ouida

Oct. 13th, 2017 07:05 am
lunabee34: (Ouida by ponders_life)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Fine and the Wicked: the Life and Times of OuidaThe Fine and the Wicked: the Life and Times of Ouida by Monica Stirling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Oh, man. Reading early literary criticism and biography is so frustrating because nobody cites sources in a useful way! Stirling is all, "And then Ouida said this," or "Then Henry James said this about Ouida," or "One time at band camp, Ouida . . ." without telling me where she gets any of her information. Sometimes I can go to the bibliography she has at the end and figure out that she's probably quoting from a certain text but sometimes not.

Reading Stirling is a wacky ride. I mean, she explicitly says that her mission is to defend Ouida as an important author and to reclaim her works as entertaining and worthy of reading, but she goes over the top in attributing emotions and motivations to Ouida for which she has zero evidence. She's constantly saying things like (paraphrasing here): Ouida never looked a gift horse in the mouth, and if she had, she would only have commented on the beauty of its teeth. Stirling's prose is ludicrous at times; she's so eager to defend Ouida's behavior that her defenses sometimes don't make logical sense. She also does this weird framing thing where she pits Ouida and Queen Victoria against each other throughout the biography, and it's extremely off-putting to read.

On the other hand, lots of great pictures of Ouida and the houses she lived in plus good biographical details and lots of info about the people with whom she socialized and corresponded.

Ouida just makes me so sad. She was so brilliant, and she was so admired, and she ended up alone and miserable and poor at the end of her life. She had loyal friends even up to her dying day, but she manufactured so much of her own unhappiness through her inability to save money and her anger at the social humiliations she sometimes suffered when she couldn't keep her mouth shut or reacted poorly to what she perceived as slights. I have so much sympathy for her and so much admiration for how much she was able to accomplish despite both external and internal forces that were set against her.

Note to self: I made a mistake in re-reading Ouida's biographies; published in the 1950s, Stirling's is the latest, and I really should have started with Elizabeth Lee's (the earliest at 1912) to better chart the way Ouida's story changes (or not) as time progresses. That's not something I took note of when I read these biographies fifteen years ago.



View all my reviews
monanotlisa: Michael Burnham, half-profile, blue-and-silver, in her uniform (Default)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
As you know, Bob, my life is thus:

7am Get up, get ready
8 am Get going to work, starting on email and professional reading and such
9 am Kick off at work
2 pm Have the lunch you brought at your desk
8pm Go do a 1-hour swim at the pool, maybe have some protein shake
9pm Travel home slightly less stressed with wet hair
10pm Work for another 1-2 hours at home
11-12pm Go to bed, perchance to sleep, definitely to dream anxiety dreams if so

Lather, rinse, repeat.

However, today I attended an excellent seminar, which brought down the pace significantly. So let me post three things:

1. How have I never read this article? Thankfully my wife alerted me to its sublime perfection. THIS IS THE ARTICLE FOR THE SEASON. *mad cackling*

2. [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico is ON! You guys, if you go and offer anything I love, I will bid on it like it's going out of style (it probably is, this being me and my fandoms). Samples include fic for
- Killjoys (TV)
- The Good Fight (TV)
- The Imperial Radch Trilogy (Book)
- Wonder Woman (Film)
- Atomic Blonde (Film)
- Antimony Price of InCryptid fame (Book)
- Star Trek: Discovery (ahh, Michael Burnham ♥) (TV)
- Dark Matter if we're talking Portia Lin and gen or femslash (TV)
- Red Queen fanfic of Cameron Cole (I'll take Mare Barrow, too, but only w/out Maven) (Book)

3. A recipient of donations for the North Bay Fire that we have chosen is the SONOMA COUNTY RESILIENCE FUND: "to support the mid- to long-term needs of our community as we recover from the devastation from the fires currently raging through Sonoma County." It's run by a both local and entrenched community organization. (I've also put up my hand for volunteering my professional work; a mail went 'round today in the office. I'm singularly useless in practical advice like this, but supposedly we will get training beforehand.)

I smelled the smoke this morning

Oct. 9th, 2017 10:20 pm
monanotlisa: Arya Stark of Winterfell, looking on (arya - got)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
And since California has rarely met a natural disaster it didn't like (we have wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, and flash floods), I immediately checked for the Berkeley Hills burning, for Oakland on fire (again). I found out that while there were small fires in the hills, they were under control; that most of the smoke we all smelled came "from Napa and Sonoma." So I tweeted to the locals around me, about the locality around me; I did not spend time thinking about wine country up north until I finished working just now.

I must have been thinking of the rolling hills and vineyards and underbrush. Which made me a little sad, the wine-drinker who loves driving through the endlessly picturesque landscape of Dry Creek Valley in particular. But I didn't think of the Napa and Sonoma towns. I should have. Ten people are dead, many are severely injured, and my dear Santa Rosa, home of Moonlight Brewing, is half in ashes.

Various local newspapers have articles; this SF Gate piece has both the story and pictures. Warning; it made me choke, and not with smoke.

Love to my friends in Marin. ♥

October 2012

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